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Pride@Kellogg Edges Out Columbia’s Cluster Q to Win Fourth Annual MBA Ally Challenge

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LGBTQ student clubs at the Kellogg School of Management, Columbia Business School and Michigan’s Ross School of Business led the pack this year as 13 leading business schools competed in the fourth annual MBA Ally Challenge, a competition hosted by nonprofit organization Friendfactor to recognize efforts to encourage straight students to become visible and active allies in their campus communities.

Pride@Kellogg won with a score of 75 out of a possible 100 points for the social, educational and community events it held promoting allyship throughout the year. Columbia’s Cluster Q was a very close second, followed by Out for Business at Ross. For its first-place showing, Pride@Kellogg will receive a $5,000 prize and on-stage recognition at the Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) Conference in October.

MBA ally challenge
A closer look at how the school clubs stacked up scorewise; Courtesy of Friendfactor

Friendfactor, which calls itself “the LGBT rights organization for straight friends,” reports that the participating business schools collectively held 238 events spread across every region of the country. Several clubs achieved their highest levels of engagement through educational events, such as an Ally Rally hosted by Out@Anderson and a State of OUT@Kelley Survey conducted by the Kelley School of Business LGBTQ club.  

Community impact events were also prominent at many schools. Columbia’s Cluster Q collected clothing for the Ali Forney Center, which provides housing for LGBTQ youth in New York City; Pride@Kellogg visited and fundraised for Center on Halsted, an LGBTQ community center in Chicago; and Out for Business at Ross put on a drag show benefit for the Jim Toy Center, an Ann Arbor LGBTQ community center.

But one of Friendfactor’s key takeaways was that there was no “silver bullet” for winning—the top-performing clubs did well through varying combinations of events across all of the categories. Another takeaway, though, was that with 75 points out of 100, even the highest-scoring team has room to grow in every category. So here’s to even greater allyship in the year ahead!

For a complete list of participating teams and other highlights of this year’s challenge, click here. If your business school’s LGBT MBA student club wants to participate in Friendfactor in the upcoming year, have your club leader email Sho Garland.